Often MEG/EEG is measured in a few slightly different conditions to investigate the functionality of the human brain. This kind of data sets show similarities, though are different for each condition. When solving the inverse problem (IP), performing the source localization, one encounters the problem that this IP is ill-posed: constraints are necessary to solve and stabilize the solution to the IP. Moreover, a substantial amount of data is needed to avoid a signal to noise ratio (SNR) that is too poor for source localizations. In the case of similar conditions, this common information can be exploited by analyzing the data sets simultaneously. The here proposed coupled dipole model (CDM) provides an integrated method in which these similarities between conditions are used to solve and stabilize the inverse problem. The coupled dipole model is applicable when data sets contain common sources or common source time functions. The coupled dipole model uses a set of common sources and a set of common source time functions (STFs) to model all conditions in one single model. The data of each condition are mathematically described as a linear combination of these common spatial and common temporal components. This linear combination is specified in a coupling matrix for each data set. The coupled dipole model was applied in two simulation studies and in one experimental study. The simulations show that the errors in the estimated spatial and temporal parameters decrease compared to the standard separate analyses. A decrease in position error of a factor of 10 was shown for the localization of two nearby sources. In the experimental application, the coupled dipole model was shown to be necessary to obtain a plausible solution in at least 3 of 15 conditions investigated. Moreover, using the CDM, a direct comparison between parameters in different conditions is possible, whereas in separate models, the scaling of the amplitude parameters varies in general from data set to data set. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.